*THIS POST CONTAINS A FEW MINOR SPOILERS*
A Song of Ice and Fire is probably my favourite book series of all time, and Daenerys is my favourite character ever since A Game of Thrones. I read the book before watching the show, so don’t think of me as that “fan” who simply likes Daenerys because she’s “hot” (what the f*** she’s 16 in the books…) or because she’s a badass dragon lady. No, I like Daenerys because she’s a complex character who constantly develops and grows as the series progresses.
Although I do think Emilia Clarke is the perfect candidate for Daenerys, not just acting wise, but also with her looks (I’m still bitter about the creators not giving them purple eyes), I think that the writers didn’t flesh out her character in the show very well. I understand how difficult it is though, considering how Daenerys’ struggles and development are more internal rather than external. She’s a very reflective character who tries to put up this tough exterior despite her internal conflicts with her identity, not only as a Targaryen but as a leader. The thing is, if the creators can bring a character as complex as Cersei to life in the shows, why can’t they do the same with Daenerys?
What the TV series doesn’t flesh out very well is Daenerys’ fears and insecurities. I think this is one of the most important things that characterise Daenerys, because it shows her humanity. She constantly fears becoming a failure as a queen, and at a more frightening note, she fears that she might end up becoming like her father in the future. Her chapters are usually filled with her thoughts, and her insecurities are evident in every thought that she has. She constantly feels the pressure of carrying on the legacy of the Targaryen clan but at the same time, she’s afraid that she would end up like the rest of them. At the same time, she’s also in conflict as to whether her goal is really worth it, when all she wants is a simple life like everybody else. She has these times when she doubts herself, and just wants to give up and live a happy, average life married to a man. In the show, we really don’t get to see these sides of Daenerys; instead we see a confident, sometimes naive, young woman ruling her people. Us viewers don’t get to see the internal conflicts that makes her human.
Another issue I have with the show is that it seems like they’re too afraid to make her look ugly. Why didn’t they make her bald after the Season 1 finale? The books clearly described her as being hairless most of the time after being reborn in the pyre. She even loses her eyebrows and eyelashes, yet in the show, her hair is still apparent. Another scene where she’s supposed to look ugly is that scene in Season 5/A Dance of Dragons where she rides Drogon. Her clothes are supposed to be torn and charred, her body should have a few wounds and scars, and her head is supposed to be on fire as she flies on Drogon’s back. It becomes more gruesome after they land in the grassland. In the books, she’s supposed to be wandering around the wilderness for a really long time, hungry and dehydrated; and she gets sick and defecates blood. It’s an issue to me that the show can’t make Daenerys ugly in the show. Is it because they’re scared that making her look ugly will put off the male viewers of the show? As much as I love the show, this issue really got me thinking about what the motives of the writers might really be when they don’t make Daenerys ugly. I really don’t mind the sex scenes, because I think they’re quite necessary at times, but frankly speaking, it’s no secret that a lot of people watch Game of Thrones and treat it as porn. Which is sad, because both the show and the books are truly works of art.
Although it’s too late to actually change anything in the show, there isn’t really a point of complaining and b*tching about it. I’m just expressing my opinions as a fan of the books. Regardless, I still think that Game of Thrones is one of the greatest television series of all time, and I still remain a huge fan of both the books and the TV series.
Photo courtesy of Business Insider